View from connections ahead of Saturday's Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.
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Cotton Mill faces the acid test ahead of the Cheltenham Festival when he makes his seasonal reappearance in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.
The six-year-old is as low as 16-1 for the Stan James Champion Hurdle, even though he has yet to run over two miles.
Campaigned over further last term, Cotton Mill has his first attempt at the trip in this valuable and ultra-competitive handicap.
Trainer John Ferguson admits it is a "fact-finding mission", and hopes the horse will also come on for his first run since finding three miles too far when third to Lovcen at Aintree in April.
He had won his first three starts over jumps before veering before the second-last and unseating Denis O'Regan when leading eventual winner Simonsig in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.
"He's very well and he's been in great form for a while, but we didn't want to run him on heavy ground," said the Newmarket handler.
"We're looking forward to a good run, but wouldn't be surprised if he improves for the run.
"He won over a mile and a quarter on the Flat at Newmarket, so two miles over hurdles shouldn't be a problem.
"It's as much a fact-finding mission in that hopefully after Saturday, if all goes well, we are going to know what his optimum trip is.
"I think we found out at Liverpool that three miles is beyond him. He was going very well in the Neptune but we don't know how that would have ended up. What we are on is a fact-finding mission to establish if this is his trip.
"He won a Grade Two over two miles, five furlongs at Warwick. We know he's a nice horse over two and a half.
"It will just give us an indication as to how effective he is over the minimum trip and then we can choose what race we want at Cheltenham once we've seen how he goes on Saturday."
Ante-post favourite My Tent Or Yours will try to turn around what has been a dreadful week for JP McManus.
The Irish owner has been hit with the death on the track of Darlan, a season-ending injury to the promising Ned Buntline, and the loss of the broodmare Like-A-Butterfly.
He is represented in the Betfair Hurdle by ante-post favourite My Tent Or Yours, who, although still in his novice season, has shaped like an ideal type for this race.
The five-year-old heads a team of six from the Nicky Henderson stable.
"He has plenty of weight for a novice," said McManus' racing manager Frank Berry.
"Nicky is very happy with him and he goes there in good form.
"We are hoping for a good run."
McManus is also represented by the Eddie Harty-trained Princeton Plains, who ran a good race when sixth to fellow Betfair rival Cause Of Causes in The Ladbroke at Ascot in December.
"He ran a good race at Ascot the last day. He stayed on after being outpaced at halfway," said Berry.
"Eddie is very happy with him and it's a great race to have a runner for him.
"We are hoping for the best."
Cash And Go is another of Henderson's strong party and the mount of stable jockey Barry Geraghty.
"I got unseated off him in The Ladbroke at Ascot. He had a good run in Cheltenham before that where he finished in front of Cause Of Causes, so the form looks good there," said the Irish rider.
"My Tent Or Yours has the right sort of profile, but he is a short price in a very competitive field.
"He is a worthy favourite, but it is a competitive race."
Emma Lavelle is hoping conditions will be decent enough to help Claret Cloak.
"I'm delighted to see ground conditions are improving and the horse is in really great nick," said the Andover trainer.
"We know he's a good-ground horse and he ran really well at Ascot on his comeback run.
"After that we moved the bar to say we would run if it was soft, but we haven't even been able to get that - it's been heavy everywhere.
"Once it became obvious he wasn't going to be able to go anywhere we gave him a couple of weeks off and then brought him back with this race in mind.
"He gets into the race on 10st 3lb, which is very nice indeed.
"It's down to him now."
Manyriverstocross returns to the track after 818 days on the sidelines.
The Alan King-trained eight-year-old was last seen finishing third to Menorah in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November 2010 and was third to Get Me Out Of Here in this race that February.
"There are not that many opportunities where I can start Manyriverstocross back and I realise this is a big ask after 27 months off, but we are just glad to get him rolling again," the Barbury Castle handler told www.alankingracing.co.uk.
Tom George believes Baby Mix is now back to his best after a three-month break following two disappointing runs earlier in the season.
"When he came back in, we found he had grown a lot over the summer and he was more relaxed," the Slad handler told At The Races.
"But as it transpired he wasn't at the top of his game.
"He's now back bucking and kicking and is quite boisterous about everything.
"He's showing all the right signs which he did last season when he was on top form.
"He's looking good and we couldn't be happier with his work."
Irish raider Cause Of Causes bids to land his second big handicap on these shores after taking The Ladbroke at Ascot in January.
The five-year-old has been put up 10lb for that success over Petit Robin, but his trainer Gordon Elliott is still expecting a decent display - especially after he went on to score at Navan last month.
"He's run great all year. He's travelled over well and we're hoping for another good run," said the County Meath handler.
"He's 10lb higher than he was at Ascot but we're hoping he can still run a decent race."
The unbeaten Swing Bowler heads a team of three from the David Pipe yard. The daughter of the classy mare Lady Cricket has yet to taste defeat in three hurdle races and two bumpers.
"She's done nothing wrong - five out of five - and she's at the right end of the weights," said the Nicholashayne handler.
"She'll enjoy a fast-run two-mile race.
"She lacks a bit of experience, but she has to have a squeak."
Ronaldo Des Mottes was second to Get Me Out Of Here in this race in 2010 but only returned from a lengthy absence at Sandown five weeks ago, when fourth to Lord Of House at Sandown.
"He's got the experience and he'll enjoy the race as well," said Pipe.
"Tom Bellamy claims 7lb off him, which will help, and he could run a big race."
Pipe's third runner, Home Run, had won five on the bounce until Mr Mole got the better of him at Taunton on Thursday.
"He seems OK," said Pipe.
"He ran well against a very well-handicapped horse.
"He's out of the weights but we will be claiming off him so he'll take his chance, all being well."
Evan Williams has warned he may withdraw Court Minstrel if he considers the ground too soft for his promising novice.
"I'm very keen to run him in this sort of race but we know from the Tolworth he doesn't like soft ground, so if the ground is predominately soft, I won't run him," said the Llancarfan trainer.
"On better ground I think he's an exciting prospect for these type of races."